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The first day of school in the NYC public school system brought new notebooks, old friends, some tears, and a bit of confusion to the more than a million public school students. The Mayor and Schools Chancellor visited a few schools, including Thomas Jefferson High School in East New York, which had been on the most-troubled schools list. Now, it is broken up into four smaller themed school, such as a "Fire Department-Homeland Security High School" where students learns about firefighting and security as well as the three R's. This reorganization of schools confused many parents and students who faced issues when registering yesterday - and then one school deleted students via a computer glitch - but many others are excited that class size is edging down.

The NY Times has some heartbreakingly cute pictures of elementary school students returning to school with captions like "Grace Sue, who was wary and a little scared of the first day of school, was comforted by her father, Sam Sue," (a photo which reminded Gothamist more than a little bit of ourselves circa 1982). The Times article also mentions that Chancellor Klein impressed student by "sinking a three-point shot" in the gym; check out this clip from NY1 and, towards the end, you'll see Chancellor Klein seriously freak out from excitement that he was able to make the shot in front of reporters and cameras.


The Post reports on the new safety patrols at public schools; the Mayor said, "We used to have children who would walk into class, go to the back of the room, tell the teacher off, pull their chairs around and have a coffee klatch, and then walk out. We're not going to tolerate that anymore." And the Teachers' Union does agree with the Mayor on that issue. And there's an editorial in Newsday saying that the Mayor's decision to end social promotion in the fifth grade is a wise one.

Links: NYC's Department of Education; a list of the 91 new schools (53 secondary, 24 middle, 5 elementary and 9 charter schools); and the school year calendar.